Monday, October 22, 2007

Mom's dinner in a pumpkin

One of my favorite childhood memories is my mom making this dinner in a pumpkin every year around Halloween time. Making this tonight for FHE and smelling the casserole mixture brought back so many warm fuzzy memories. Good thing Jeremy loved this, because we will carry this tradition on.Recipe:
Cut off top of medium sized pumpkin and cut a triangle notch on one side to make replacing lid easier to line up.
Scoop out the inside and wipe out with paper towel. Mark a face on the front with a permanent pen if you would like.
Spoon casserole mixture inside and bake 350 degrees for about one hour (on a cookie sheet) until meat of pumpkin is tender (if you will eat it, otherwise, just so dinner is hot inside).

Casserole Mixture:
Cook 1 1/2 to 2 lbs of ground beef with 1 chopped onion until fully cooked
Add 4 tablespoons soy sauce
Add 2 tablespoons brown sugar
Add 1 (4 oz) can sliced mushrooms, drained
Add 1 can cream of chicken soup
Add 1 (8 oz) can sliced water chestnuts, drained
Add 1 1/2 - 2 cups cooked rice
Simmer 10 minutes.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Pumpkin Spiced and Iced Cookies

Tis the wonderful season of pumpkins! And time for my favorite seasonal cookie recipe. When I first started dating Jeremy, back in the fall of 2004, I was craving a pumpkin chocolate chip cookie recipe and asked Jeremy if his mom had a good recipe. Sure enough it was more than just good... it was excellente! I've handed this recipe out many a times to pumpkin adorers, so here is Leslie Curfew's pumpkin chocolate chip cookies (with vanilla glaze) recipe:

2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (Spice Island Brand)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 large eggs
15 oz. Libby 100% pure pumpkin
2 cups (12 oz. package) Nestle Tollhouse semi-sweet chocolate morsels

Vanilla Glaze: Combine 1 cup powdered sugar, 1 to 1 1/2 Tblsp milk and 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract in a small bowl. Mix well.

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
2. Combine flour, pumpkin spice, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl.
3. Beat butter and sugar in a large mixer bowl until creamy. Beat in pumpkin, eggs and vanilla extract.
4. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels. Drop by the rounded tablespoons onto foiled covered baking sheets.
5. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until edges are slightly browned. Let stand for 5 minutes; remove to wire rack to cool completely.
6. Drizzle or spread the vanilla glaze on top of cookies.

(Makes about 4 dozen cookies)